I don't have to set a reminder. My iCal doesn't send an alert. I anticipate the date weeks before it arrives and I find myself reeling from it for days after.
It jumps from the screen. My eyes spot it immediately. Intrinsically I avoid scheduling appointments or activities on that day.
I don't curl into a ball or cry all day. I simply remember. I replay the morning of her passing. I feel her absence more deeply. I ponder time and how it can feel like she was here yesterday and yet also feel like she has been gone for years. I hope for signs. I hold Oliver closer. I always end the night in her room, twirling a ribbon of her hair.
Another month has passed and I can see the one year mark approaching. I am thankful for friends who have been down this road, who are able to advise and guide me. My dear friend, Helen, who lost two children to Sanfilippo, has been my guidepost. When I told her about our plans to be on vacation for the one year anniversary she wisely said that I should reconsider. Knowing my grief journey and the ways it has mirrored hers, she speaks from experience. Being home in my own space with all of my memories will most likely be a better option. A safer space to experience what I anticipate to be an incredibly difficult process. As I arrive closer to one year without Waverly, I am confident that there is no place I would rather be than in her room surrounded by a blanket of memories.